Author Topic: New Topic: Taxes for Artists  (Read 6009 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1353
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« on: Jan 27, 2005, 07:33 pm »
In response to the email I got that's on the main page, I figured that dealing with Uncle Sam (or taxes in other countries!) when you're a freelancer might be a good topic for this month.

What's deductible? What isn't?  Do you pay estimated taxes?  Any advice for folks who are filing as a freelancer for the first time?  Horrible experiences to share (well... moreso than usual...)?

A good topic for any artist in the industry, I'd think...

SM_Art

  • Guest
everyone has an opinion...
« Reply #1 on: Jan 27, 2005, 08:34 pm »
I think it's a good idea to find a tax preparer who specializes in the self employed.  Since we often work for a multitude of employers, we can sometimes qualify for breaks that are eligible to the self employed.  (Of course, if you work for a single company throughout the year, this may not apply.)
There are many computer programs out there, and I know people who swear by them, but one advantage to establishing a relationship with a good tax preparer is IF you're audited, they can go with you and help explain what was done.  A computer program is only as good as the people who design it, and they don't always know what we do.  We're quite different than most professions....
As to what's deductable and what's not, I find that everyone has an opinion, often quite the opposite ends of the spectrum... and much of it depends on whether you'd rather 'play it safe' and only claim what you are absolutely sure is deductable, or be a bit more aggressive and make claims on items which might be questionable and take your chances.  Again, I've heard arguments for both.  I would think much depends on how thorough your record keeping has been for the past year....

Art

PSMKay

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1353
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.smnetwork.org
  • Affiliations: None.
  • Current Gig: SMNetwork *is* my production.
  • Experience: Former SM
New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« Reply #2 on: Jan 27, 2005, 09:59 pm »
Right.

Well, I know that the standard self employed deductions can include things like car upkeep and travel expenses, moving expenses, health insurance, cell phone usage, home office maintenance... but keeping receipts for all of those things is tough!

And where do you draw the line is a good point.  I mean, if you're moving, you can certainly deduct the cost of hiring movers, but what if you move to a new apartment and that apartment needs an air conditioner or a fridge?  Can you deduct that?  What about depreciation?

Have any of you ever been audited while working freelance?  What was the experience like?

smejs

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 467
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA, USITT
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM in Denver
  • Experience: Professional
New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2005, 01:01 pm »
Well, so far, I've been doing my own taxes for the last couple years, including 7 or 8 states a year between all the jobs.....I'm actually wondering if and when I'll get audited, but at least I'm keeping damn good records of how I figured it all out.

I'm not going to comment on the "right way" to do the taxes themselves, but as for organizing.........I use Quicken, and create my own categories for things like tickets to shows (research), black clothing (uniform), office supplies, run gear (flashlights, etc).  And in addition to bank accounts and credit cards, I've set up an account I call "Out of Pocket" and that's where I put all those things I paid for in cash.  And every couple ATM withdrawals or so I actually list as a "transfer" from the checking account to the "out of pocket account" to make it all work out even on Quicken.  And I staple all my receipts to 3-ring notebook paper so if I need to look them up I can.  I also have all my credit card statements in the back, with the non-tax related receipts stapled there for my personal use.  I also put a big list in the front of the notebook for major purchases of the year, both theatre-related and not, so I can relatively quickly find things.  

Erin

nmno

  • Guest
New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2005, 02:49 pm »
Equity has this informational sheet:

http://www.actorsequity.org/Library/sm/sm_vita.pdf

scoot

  • Guest
check this book/website out
« Reply #5 on: Feb 24, 2005, 08:06 pm »
artstaxinfo.com

And the book 'new tax guide for performing artists' (new edition).  there's info about the book on that website as well.

lbeacham

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 15
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Idaho Shakespeare Festival
  • Experience: Professional
Taxes
« Reply #6 on: Mar 06, 2005, 01:59 am »
I asked around to other SMs and actors in town if any of them had an accountant.  Turns out there's a great one (here in Chicago at any rate) who does the taxes for most of the artists in town.  He's got this great worksheet that tells you the categories and what you can deduct each year.  I then set up my files accordingly, and drop reciepts into each file folder throughout the year.  I'll send Kay a copy of this year's in-town expense deduction category list to post.  It's worth every penny to have him do my taxes every year.  He's found me more deductions and saved me thousands of dollars.... it really helped me to sort out what is important to keep and what wasnt.[/img]
Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's souls. -
Daniel H. Burnham

scoot

  • Guest
artstaxinfo.com
« Reply #7 on: Mar 13, 2005, 11:27 am »
check out the website artstaxinfo.com.  It's by a CPA who specializes in doing taxes for artists.

Klyguy

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://
New Topic: Taxes for Artists
« Reply #8 on: Aug 12, 2005, 12:45 pm »
Hey guys. So I just joined today and I have been thinking about the whole tax issue for a long time. Ibeacham....I noticed that you suggested a tax person here in chicago to go to for questions and for tax help. Let me know who that is! Im a student and a free lancer and I am kind of lost at the moment about taxes! AHHH!
 :D
Kyle Anthony
Chicago

scoot

  • Guest
yes...
« Reply #9 on: Aug 19, 2005, 12:03 pm »
Yes, you can get depreciation on an AC....

It also depends on the state re: other apt expenses.  Anyone in MA gets to deduct a significant portion of rent.  Moving expenses?  I can't quite remember anymore.

Get a good accountant and make sure they have experience with Arts!  H&R Block will NOT serve you best..... your accountant will help you draw that line, believe me!

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
1343 Views
Last post Dec 07, 2010, 05:30 pm
by nick_tochelli
9 Replies
4787 Views
Last post Jun 11, 2011, 03:42 am
by sievep
11 Replies
4166 Views
Last post Jul 23, 2013, 12:38 pm
by MatthewShiner

riotous